Stephanie (collacentaur) wrote,

Memory and Old Miss Edith

I've been dredging up a variety of random old high school memories recently. In this case, I was thinking about my friend Jen, who always ended up directly behind me in any class we had together, since her last name started with MA and mine starts with LU. [1] Aside from math, I can only think of one other class we shared, but we were in math together for three years. We passed notes back and forth along the arm of my desk constantly [2] - never about the class, of course. Sometimes it was gossip, or swooning over the crush of the month, but very often it was something totally random and creative.

Now that I think of it, actually, that explains a lot. I enjoy creative projects, and feel better when I'm doing something, but I'm very bad at inspiring myself. I don't have to do things collaboratively, but I do need to be interacting with others who are also engaged in creative endeavors. I always thought I just lost inspiration when I went to college and found other things to do with my time. That may be true also, but now I think that Jen was keeping me supplied with ideas and encouragement, and that's why I did so much more then.

Anyway, on the week I'm thinking of, we were playing with mnemonics. Undoubtedly someone had mentioned in our hearing the mnemonic for spelling "arithmetic" - which I learned as "A rat in the house may eat the ice cream." So, it being math class, we came up with ways to remember algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The first two are lost to the mists, I fear, but trig was pretty memorable:

Tyrannosaurus Rex In Green & Orange Nightie & Old Miss Edith's Tights

...except I've forgotten the -RY. In the geometry version, it may have been old Miss Edith's T-Rex, but I remember the visual for trig. Someone drew a color picture at some point.

I sent a note off to my mother to see if she remembers the -RY. She was in on a lot of this stuff, and some of it she kept and started using on her students.


[1] Even in homeroom, we were never more than about four people apart, and the others were never in the top-level classes.

[2] She was bright enough to be able to keep up with the class while being distracted most of the time, and motivated enough to tell me when she needed to stop chatting and pay attention. Until I got well into calculus, the fourth year (when Jen wasn't in the class anyway), I didn't need to pay attention at all. We thought no one noticed. In retrospect, I think the teachers overlooked it because they knew we weren't cheating, it wasn't hurting either of our grades, and we were fairly discreet about it. In general, I daresay most teachers are thankful when their bright and creative students amuse themselves in a non-disruptive way when they get bored.
Tags: high school

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